Despite the driving conditions--how do people out east handle those interstate highways? Holy congestion, Batman! And then we couldn't find a place to spend the night after crossing into Pennsylvania. Apparently every room from Ohio to the Atlantic Ocean is booked solid throughout the summer months...a fun fact Trip Advisor failed to mention...
But when we arrived in the Outer Banks, after passing through a shopping district that rivals ours (which is considered top-notch in the Midwest--which just goes to show you how hick we really are), we found the Lillian B, our beach cottage for the week. Nestled between an empty lot and a vacant house, the Lillian B was sweeter than the internet images I'd perused for hours while planning our trip. This house had such charm and simplicity--a claw foot bathtub upstairs, tricked out with a cunning showerhead contraption so I could rinse the sand from my hair. The furniture was darling, each room pleasantly arranged. And then we stepped out to the porch facing the ocean.
People, most folks got jazzed because it had a hot tub. No, what pleased me most was the view! A small stretch of sand and then the magnificent, endless span of Atlantic Ocean. Of course, the porch swing and cozy Adirondack chairs didn't hurt our situation.
Down the steps, past the handy spigot for rinsing sandy feet, straight into the salty brine. Waves--constant rolling, mighty, lulling, rocking, ebbing, flowing waves! Imagine, if you will, 6 days of hot, sunny weather on a very quiet beach (populated by a variety of families, not many of them, mostly companionable, ordinary folk intent on enjoying themselves). The ocean is a temperate 77 degrees, pelicans patrol the sky above and pods of dolphins patrol the perimeter. We felt no temptation to leave our post. Mr. D flopped back into a chair, Team Testosterone somersaulted through the surf, occasionally running up to the beach chairs to deposit a shell into their collection, I read and swam and sat and swam and reflected and built sandcastles with moats to collect the high tide.
Sure, we ventured out to see The Lost Colony and the Wright Brothers Memorial. We got donuts from Duck's and I got to grocery shop at a Harris Teeter. And we took a surfing lesson. But mostly?
We sat and stared and loved the vastness of the ocean and all the sounds, life, smells and tastes. The Outer Banks was exactly the Intro. to the Ocean I wanted for my kids--and it exceeded my expectations, too!
Spill it, reader--have you ever visited the Outer Banks?